Blog Archive

Effective Spending Policy: A ‘Ways and Means’ to Long-term Goals

“The name of the investment game is not to get rich, but rather to not get poor.” – William J. Bernstein1 The concept of a […]

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Creating an Effective Investment Policy Statement

A Roadmap for Your Nonprofit’s Future Most experienced nonprofit board and committee members understand the importance of good governance practices. The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) […]

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Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) – Should Employers Dive In?

What are PEPs? The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 and the subsequent Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 […]

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Cultural Institutions’ Investment Policies, Practices and Performance

Groundbreaking Study Reveals Helpful Practices and Guidance to Leaders Introduction In the rapidly evolving financial landscape of cultural institutions where the intersection of mission-driven goals […]

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Trends in Corporate Retirement Plan Offerings

In this piece, we take a look at the past, present and likely future state of the retirement savings vehicles offered by private sector employers […]

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10 Crucial Steps to Take After Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious and distressing experience that can disrupt your life and financial well-being. When you discover your personal information has been stolen […]

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Take Control of Your Finances: Essential Year-End Planning Opportunities

With year-end rapidly approaching and the holiday season drawing near, the fast-paced routine of everyday life can easily consume our attention. However, amid the hustle […]

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Public Plans Rally in Fiscal Year 2023

Strong Equity Markets in Second Half Drive Solid Results, Redemption QueuesBuilding for Open End Private Real Estate Public Defined Benefit (DB) and Other Post Employee […]

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Eight Common Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Your Retirement

According to Charles Schwab, retirement planning is the number one source of financial stress for the majority of Americans.1 Given the potential for retirement to […]

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Key Family Office Considerations for Financial Success

Ultra-High-Net-Worth (UHNW) families are commonly designated as those having $30 million or more in liquid assets.[1] Family assets may fluctuate over time due to global […]

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SECURE 2.0: Five Key Provisions for 2024

Happy National 401(k) Day!  It’s been about nine months since Congress passed a handful of laws, collectively referred to as SECURE 2.0.  SECURE 2.0 contained […]

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Watch Your Step! Avoid These 10 Common Investor Pitfalls

Following a difficult 2022, the vast majority of fixed income and equity asset classes find themselves in positive territory on a year-to-date basis. The current […]

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How A Recession Might Impact Your Endowment…And Your Institution

If your university relies on its endowment for scholarships, operations, or other support, the current environment may find you anxious about how a recession would […]

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Are You Overpaying ‘Uncle Sam’?

Five Key Considerations for Improving Tax-Efficiency Taxes play a significant role in everyone’s financial life, and maximizing tax efficiency can have a substantial impact on […]

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The Artificial Intelligence Revolution is Here

Where Should Investors Begin? Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently described the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) as “more profound than fire or electricity,” which left […]

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Smart Nudges: Behavioral Finance Successes and Opportunities in Defined Contribution Plans

It is no secret that we do not always act in our own rational best interests, we often let our emotions and biases get the […]

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Knowledge is Power in Uncertain Times

For retirement Plan Sponsors, navigating uncertain times can feel like sailing in uncharted waters. However, in these moments of ambiguity, one thing remains certain – […]

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Preparing for Rising College Costs: Start Early and Save Often

The skyrocketing cost of college education has become a growing concern for students and families across the U.S. As tuition continues to rise, it is […]

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Demystifying Pension Liabilities

Every year, when tax time comes around I dutifully provide my accountant with the requested items needed to complete my tax returns. After a few […]

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Shield Your Wealth: Seven Steps to Better Protect Your Financial Information

In 2022, consumer financial fraud reached alarming levels. Reported losses totaled nearly $8.8 billion1, which represented an increase of more than 30% over the previous […]

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Don’t Let Healthcare Costs Derail a Healthy Retirement

Strategies to Implement in 2023 For many, retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor and pursue long-held dreams. However, it is […]

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Looking for a New Advisor? Ask These 10 Questions to Find the Right Fit

A 2022 investor survey by YCharts found that over 25% of respondents thought about switching or had switched advisors in the last three years.1 Finding […]

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Simple Actions Today Can Lead to Positive Results Tomorrow

The Journey of a Thousand Miles… Managing your personal finances can feel like a daunting task. You are not alone. Only about 25% of Americans […]

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Secure 2.0 for Defined Benefit Plans: Enhancements, Improvements and Clarification

In late December 2022, Congress passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement or SECURE Act 2.0 – a follow-up package to the initial […]

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More Uncertainty Means More Risk For Sponsors & Participants

For plan sponsors and their participants who follow the news, not a day passes without conflicting accounts concerning the markets and our economy. Headlines declare […]

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Are My Assets Safe?

The recent events surrounding the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, combined with the volatility in stock prices of other financial institutions, serve […]

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Update Regarding Silicon Valley Bank

What happened? Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”), the nation’s 16th largest bank1 with $175 billion in deposits, is a bank known for primarily serving businesses rather […]

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Career Words of Wisdom from the Women of Fiducient Advisors

Celebrate the Empowerment of Women Today is International Women’s Day and all of us at Fiducient Advisors are honored to celebrate this day with you. […]

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If ESG is Considered Green –
Why is There So Much Gray?

Challenging Debates Not Easily Resolved Life’s most difficult debates are seldom straightforward to resolve – and that assumes resolution is achievable. Underlying arguments are often […]

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The Debt Ceiling Distraction – A Manufactured Crisis

In 1917 the United States Congress first established a limit on government borrowing to finance the country’s involvement in World War I. The current debt […]

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SECURE 2.0 Act Paves the Way for Big Changes

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”) is chock-full of provisions – 92, in fact – aimed at improving Americans’ preparedness for retirement. Like […]

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FTX – Lessons Learned from a Lack of Due Diligence

The recent collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its trading arm affiliate, Alameda Research, highlights the importance of performing thorough due diligence prior to making […]

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Final Rule Grants Fiduciaries Greater Flexibility When Considering ESG Options

Key Observations• Fiduciaries will have more flexibility to consider non-pecuniary factors when evaluating investments for their Defined Contribution Plans• Plan Sponsors are not required to […]

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Cozy Up to a Good Book

While many of our associates devote much of their attention to following economic and market developments, we still enjoy the comfort of a good book […]

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Mission-Aligned Investing: Approach

The three main categories of approaches to Mission-Aligned Investing include: Integration ESG integration is the inclusion of non-financial factors into the investment decision process. ESG […]

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Public Plans Struggle in Fiscal Year 2022

Restoration of Higher Bond Yields Will Be Welcome Relief for Public Plans Public Defined Benefit (DB) and Other Post Employee Benefit (OPEB) plans typically measure […]

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What Do Higher Interest Rates Mean for My Defined Benefit Plan’s Fixed Income Allocation?

Considerations for Plan Sponsors Key Observations Read further to learn how rising discount rates could affect your liability hedging strategy. 2022: Significantly Higher Pension Discount […]

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At Your Side for The Rough Ride

High inflation, geopolitical tensions, and pandemic uncertainties. Couple these challenges with steep losses in both stocks and bonds, on top of slowing economies. Whether you serve as an investment committee member or simply effort to make the best of your own portfolio, we know this can feel unsettling and we are here for you.

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Low Investment Fees – A New Wave of ERISA Litigation

Plan Sponsors have seen no shortage of ERISA lawsuits over the past 15 plus years with many leading to large settlements. Breach of fiduciary duty is a common theme identified in these lawsuits, especially involving excessive fees and/or actively managed fund expenses. A new wave of ERISA lawsuits allege Plan Sponsors breach their fiduciary duty by offering low-cost, passively-managed Target Date Funds (TDFs). 

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Portfolio Rebalancing: The Easiest Difficult Decision an Investor Can Make

Novice and expert investors alike have used the adage “buy low, sell high” to guide many of their investment decisions for as long as trading […]

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4 Ways to Improve Participant Outcomes Today

September 9, 2022 is National 401(k) Day! To celebrate, we compiled four helpful ways Plan Sponsors can potentially improve outcomes for 401(k) plan participants. 1. […]

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Necessary Progress in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In 2017 we upgraded the firm’s website and I recall our marketing team and IT vendor being very excited. The update was more functional, graphics looked great, and we were told the improved website was likely to win an award (it did). I too was excited and remember displaying the site to my wife with a sense of pride; however, my bubble soon burst when she said something like: “Looks great… but why are there so many white males?” That was when it struck me that a good heart is not enough when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Creating a Legacy Free from Estate Tax

We believe most people do not actually need permanent life insurance; in fact, they would probably be better off using those funds in a million […]

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Mission-Aligned Investing: Values

What is Mission-Aligned Investing? Mission-Aligned Investing is the concept of aligning an investor’s investment capital with their mission or values. These values can vary widely, […]

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Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts – Key Considerations for Plan Sponsors

On March 10, 2022, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) issued Compliance Assistance Release #2022 titled “401(k) Plan Investments in Cryptocurrencies” which instructed Plan Sponsors […]

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Will Cryptocurrency Ever Be a Viable Option for Your Retirement Plan?

Earlier this year, the largest retirement plan provider in the United States announced that clients using their platform would have the ability to invest in […]

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The Bear Market Field Guide

Enduring wisdom on how to approach bear markets There is nothing enjoyable about market corrections and/or recessions. They create fear, anxiety and uncertainty, potentially requiring […]

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An Overview of OCIO Services for Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Clients

Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) services are a significant and growing part of the Endowment and Foundation and nonprofit landscape. These services can provide an […]

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Advancing Our Commitment to Diversity and More

As an investor, you may be elevating your focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), either personally or in your organization to advance your […]

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Establishing a Governance Process for Your Defined Contribution Plan

Public defined contribution plans have grown in popularity and size in recent years, thanks to robust capital market returns, additional voluntary savings amounts in 457 […]

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It’s Time for an Annual Wellness Check-up… of Your Finances

With April here, there’s spring cleaning, then there’s annual health check-ups. Be it your annual physical or some other routine health check-ups, you might be […]

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The Impacts of Inflation on Your Defined Benefit Plan

Higher Inflation Is Here to Stay The United States inflation rate, as measured by the year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index, has increased materially […]

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Giving Employees the Tools to Help Them Retire Confidently

As the U.S. begins to exit the pandemic stage of COVID-19, some level of “new normal” appears to be taking hold in our everyday lives. […]

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Nonprofit Fundraising and Cryptocurrencies

Organizational fundraising and advancement efforts remain critical to the success of any charitable organization. In addition, foresight and creativity can be powerful tools in the […]

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Greenwashing in ESG: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

With rising interest in Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing the asset management community has been quick to respond. New strategies have been launched, existing strategies have […]

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Wait, Is This a Gift or Homework? Five Books to Improve Financial Literacy

The holiday season is in full swing, and the countdown is on to purchase last-minute gifts. Rather than simply wrapping up gift cards or the latest tech gadget, why not consider the gift of…

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10 Elements Every Investment Policy Statement Should Address

Many endowment and foundation committee members understand the importance of good governance practices; however, investment policy statements across the endowment/foundation—and broader nonprofit world…

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Reading and Writing and… Finances? The Case for Children Learning About Fiscal Responsibility

Fiducient Advisors’ work with families teaches us time and time again that one of the biggest risks to the continuation of wealth is not poor investment performance but…

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My Defined Benefit Funded Status Has Improved – Now What?

A combination of strong asset returns and higher liability discount rates contributed to material improvements in funded statuses for many Defined Benefit (DB) plans since early 2020. The magnitude and speed of these market impacts caused…

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Am I Too Wealthy for a Mutual Fund?

Investing has changed a lot over the years. My grandparents gained exposure to the markets by doing one of two things: buying stocks or buying bonds. Throughout the 20th century, a litany of different investment vehicles were introduced…

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How To Make Your Investment Committee More Effective

Would you like your investment committee to utilize best practices and produce better outcomes? This rundown from a recent…

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Association Reserves: Policies, Practice and Performance

Associations today must deal with a significant set of financial challenges. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the global economy, associations were evolving by seeking new revenue streams and membership models. During this public health crisis, associations confronted a cross-current of painful realities: meeting cancellations, membership consolidation and…

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The Clock Could Be Ticking for Favorable Estate Planning Provisions

Estate tax laws have been undergoing change over the last couple of decades, but in every instance of revision, they have managed to move forward, not backward, regarding exemptions, rates and flexibility. Despite this…

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Four Smart Moves for Endowment Investment Committees

All of us struggled with the unexpected this past year, much of it involving strife and heartache – especially for charitable organizations and those they serve. But one thing played out better than you expected…

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Next-Evolution Design for Market Rate Cash Balance Plans

For more than 10 years, investors attained double-digit gains by investing in the stock market. As a result, 401(k) balances and other investment pools achieved high material growth. This environment also drove the advent and growth of a uniquely attractive type of retirement plan…

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Financial Wellness in the Age of Coronavirus

Financial wellness is an overall sense of stability and control over an individual’s personal financial situation. Financial wellness helps people feel safe and secure about their long-term financial outlook. Specifically, a state of financial wellness is characterized by…

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Investment Office at Fiducient Advisors: Creative and Flexible Management Solutions for Today’s Nonprofits

These days, we are witnessing a trending increase in requests from clients and prospective clients for an outsourced consulting model or partially outsourced consulting model in which…

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Focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: To Be Continued…

In December 2020, Fiducient Advisors, hosted a roundtable webcast titled “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Investment Management.” During this informative and intriguing discussion, the panel considered the fact that the investment management industry is…

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Essentials for Monitoring Your Organization’s Investment Portfolio Performance

Regular reviews of investment performance are a valuable exercise but only when done properly. In 1983, a group of elderly women met in a church […]

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Improve Endowment Investment Results With Strong Governance

One of the most important factors in ensuring the long-term success of a charitable organization is committing to a strong governance process. Particularly as it […]

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COVID-19 and Its Effects on Retirement Accounts

On January 20, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in the United States. As the virus continued to spread, many states issued stay-at-home orders, employers instituted work-from-home policies and the decade-plus bull market quickly reversed course. This not only impacted personal savings but also $6.3 trillion in retirement plan assets…

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How to Update Your Endowment’s Spending Policy

According to a recent CAF America survey, 93 percent of charitable organizations project a decrease in funding over the next 12 months1. If inflows will […]

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Five Tips to Help Financial Institutions Accelerate Growth Through Better Marketing

We will share five initiatives to help ensure you are communicating effectively and efficiently to your existing clients, prospective clients and centers-of-influence (COIs)…

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CYBER-20: How to Be Aware in the Times of Cybercrime

In a time when we are most concerned about our physical safety as it relates to the ongoing pandemic, there lies another hidden fear of safety lurking. Everyone notices the increasingly growing tech sector…

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Health Savings Account – A Retirement Triple Threat

With the increase in high deductible health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSA) have seen a significant jump in utilization. An HSA provides a unique […]

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ESG Investing: Pandemic Edition

It’s no secret that COVID-19 altered the world as we know it, including the investment universe. In fact, over the last several months, the pandemic has shaped the way we work, the way we interact with each other, the way we spend money and the way we invest.

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Family Vacation Homes: How to Preserve the Memories without Disrupting the Peace

It’s the Fourth of July holiday, and all the kids and grandkids are gathered to celebrate at the family vacation home. Your children spend every July here most years. As you watch the next generation learn to swim and fish in these waters, so many memories come rushing back to you.

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Is Your Endowment Diversified for a Crisis? Best Practices for Investment Committees

You oversee an endowment or foundation for your nonprofit and my bet is that until around mid-March you were disappointed if you – acting as a good steward – constructed a prudently diversified portfolio.

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Growing Your Practice: How Advisors Are Responding to the Pandemic

Fiducient Advisors recently completed a survey of many of its financial institutions clients to analyze evolving business strategy in light of the COVID-19…

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The CARES Act and Beyond: A COVID-19 Government Assistance Guide for Nonprofits

While most media coverage focuses on the funds from the $2 trillion Act allocated toward individuals and small businesses, the sweeping legislation also offers some financial relief to the nonprofit sector as well.

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Big Tech Stocks Dominate – Will it Last?

The last 10 years produced a period of dominance from growth stocks largely driven by a handful of U.S. organizations. These businesses, often referred to as Big Tech or FAAMG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet [Google]) stocks…

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How to Reallocate Retirement Plan Costs During the COVID-19 Crisis

Organizations running lean and seeking to cut costs should assess how qualified plan fees (audit, investment consulting, legal, etc.) are assessed.

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Discretionary Oversight During Times of Uncertainty

There are four primary areas for consideration of partnership with a discretionary management firm: investments, administration and operations, cost and accountability.

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Should Investment Advisors Accept That It’s Different This Time? Hint: Yes!

If you have been advising clients for some time, you know the four most dangerous words might be “It’s different this time”. But investment advisors […]

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Coronavirus Cancellations: How Nonprofits Are Meeting the Challenge of Lost Event Revenue

This environment has indeed had an “unprecedented” impact on nonprofits whose revenues are dependent upon the willingness and ability of people to congregate together.

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Fed Goes to Zero, Reboots Quantitative Easing

In what shaped up to be a busy and sobering weekend for investors and concerned citizens alike, the Federal Reserve (The Fed) released a statement outlining three critical steps…

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Seven Habits of Effective Investment Committees

Nonprofit investment committees have a weighty responsibility, but often lack the structure to maximize their effectiveness. Here are seven habits or best practices for investment […]

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Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches: How Safe are Your Retirement Accounts?

For most Americans, our 401(k)/403(b) plan is our largest asset outside (outside of home ownership)…

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Time to Rebalance Your Portfolio? Here’s How in Three Simple Steps

The four most dangerous words in investing might be: It’s different this time.

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Keeping in the Family – A Primer for Family Investing

It is important to remember successful investors started with the basics of next gen education

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A Decade of 401(k) Lawsuits – Adhere to Your Fiduciary Duties

ERISA requires fiduciaries to follow a careful, prudent process to ensure their plans pay no more than reasonable fees.

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Three Top Financial Challenges Facing the Nonprofit Sector

With the economy in the midst of its longest expansion in history and stocks near all-time highs, you would think that financial officers and board […]

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